Tag Archive | Masks

New Works By Hassan Sharif at Alexander Gray Associates

Combs (2016)
Combs, (2016) By Hassan Sharif (All Photos By Gail)

We were first introduced to the suspended sculptures and assemblage art of Hassan Sharif in the exhibit Here and Elsewhere at the New Museum back in 2014. Right now, Alexander Gray Associates is hosting a exhibit of Sharif’s recent work, featuring sculptures and woven assemblages. Recognized as a pioneer of conceptual art and experimental practice in the United Arab Emirates over the past four decades, Sharif has transgressed traditional frameworks for art making by extending his practice to performance, installation, drawing, painting, and assemblage that integrates ordinary objects as the primary medium. The tapestry-like works in this exhibition are conceptually linked by their relationship with the human body and social structures.

Combs Detail
Combs, Detail

For this series, the artist creates artworks from sourced inexpensive and mass-produced goods that he buys at local markets in his native Dubai. By cutting, bending, grouping, and braiding these cultural artifacts, he sheds their functionality to enhance their aesthetic and political significance. For Sharif, “the work is about consumerism. “I use cheap materials, ordinary things that are readily available in the market,” he explains.

Back to School
Back to School (2015)

By weaving together, in the ancient tradition of tapestry making, ordinary objects consumed by today’s society, Sharif points both to the hyper-industrialization impacting everyday life and the abandonment of old traditions that were key to building strong bonds among the members of communities in the past. On his interest in unifying aspects of both the ancient and modern, the artist explains “I want to nurture new ways out of the old and present these in a contemporary visual and artistic context.”

Back to School Detail
Back to School , Detail

In Sharif’s body of work, the rhythmically repetitive act of weaving echoes the involuntary functions of the human body, such as swallowing, breathing, and blinking. At the same time, the materials deployed to create the works 
in this exhibition, including combs, nail clippers, masks, and gloves are traditionally used to modify or cover the body. Recently, Sharif has centered his production around large-scale wall sculptures that incorporate objects that as he describes, “people depend on greatly to keep up with their daily routines and activity. So long as they are alive, they keep using, exhausting, and relying on them as if they are, in one way or another, part of their own bodies.”

Masks
Masks (2016)

In Masks, Sharif creates a grid of many colored face masks which cascade towards the floor, tied to one another by their black ribbons to ultimately form an irregular fringe at the bottom of the sculpture. The artists notes that masks have “an important historical role. In the Middle East, women cover their faces with veils. In Africa [masks are] used in dances to ward off evil spirits. Hiding one’s identity has become increasingly important.”

Masks Detail
Masks, Detail

Ladies and Gentlemen (2014)
Ladies and Gentlemen (2014)

For Ladies and Gentlemen, he assembled mass-produced and inexpensive female and male shoes, into a drape-like object that emphasizes seriality and the dislocation of functional objects. His use of shoes speaks to an interest in sexual politics across centuries and geographies; in the work, men and women occupy a common space, and are bound together with hand-painted papier maché and ropes. In this way, he refers to the intrinsic connection between individuals and society.

Ladies and Gentlemen Detail
Ladies and Gentlemen, Detail

Sharif’s interest in visual accumulation, and in systematic production, calculations, and geometric permutations are apparent in his choice of material for Combs (2016). For this work, he assembled plastic combs in a variety of bright colors, which jut out from the wall at irregular angles creating a haphazard visual rhythm. For the artist, combs, widely used to tidy hair, exemplify the use of logic necessary in mass-production of consumer goods. As he explains, “the number of teeth, the distance between them, their length and thickness, all seem to be well calculated, and they have been so for thousands of years.” Sharif echoes the geometric precision of the combs by organizing them in a meticulous gridded pattern in space, following a calculated mathematical model of his own invention, to create a hanging tapestry.

New Works by Hassan Sharif will be on Exhibit Through May 14, 2016 at Alexander Gray Associates, Located at 510 West 26th Street, in the Chelsea Gallery District

Signage

Punching Bag and Artificial Leg
Punching Bag (Left Background) and Artificial Leg (Right Foreground)

Advertisements

Eli Klein Presents: Liu Bolin Mask

Liu Bolin Ted Convention
Where Is Liu Bolin? (All Photos By Gail)

In the above photo, Hiding in California No. 1 – TED, you probably can’t see artist Liu Bolin, because he is hiding, literally, in plain sight. Let me give you hint of where he is:

Liu Bolin Ted Event Close Up

Holy Chinese Lanterns! There he is!

Also known as “The Invisible Man,” the Chinese-born Bolin’s most popular works are from his Hiding in the City series; photographic works that began as performance art in 2005. New photos from Hiding in Hollywood and Hiding in New York appear as part of Mask, Bolin’s latest solo exhibit at Eli Klein in Soho,

Hiding in California No. 2 - Hollywood, 2013

Hiding in California No. 2 – Hollywood, 2013

Bolin is able to hide within his photographs by  donning a suit of clothes painted to resemble the background and then simply inserting himself into the frame. Find him above by looking for the top of his head in the “W” of the Hollywood Sign.

Liu Bolin iPhones Close Up

 Hiding in the City – Mobile Phone, 2012

This shot (above) is a close up, so you can sort of easily see him among a wall of smart phones.

Liu Bolin Pier and Ship

Here he is in front of the Intrepid, NYC, 2012

Liu Bolin Cereal Boxes and Suit 2

In the gallery they also had on display the suit worn in a photo (not part of this exhibit) where Bolin blends into a wall of shelved cereal boxes. Very Cool!

Liu Bolin Graffiti Wall

Hiding in the City – Beijing Graffiti No. 2, 2012

Here’s another good one!

Liu Bolin Snack Masks

Since the exhibit is called Mask, it makes sense that there is also a selection of works inspired by traditional Peking Opera masks. The masks above incorporate the design and slogans of snack food packaging.

Liu Bolin Ten Masks

According to the exhibit’s press release, these masks “are symbolic reflections of Chinese society and its values. By recreating these masks using the advertising and labeling of popular food and drink products seen throughout China, Liu Bolin addresses the rapidly changing, highly commercialized values of Chinese society. By adding a necessary layer to these works — welding masks — Liu Bolin speaks to the dangers Chinese face in their contemporary society. With constant risk of food and drink contamination, living in China can feel as dangerous as working with molten hot metal.” So yeah, heavy.

Mask by Liu Bolin is a fantastic show and you should head on over to Eli Klein, located at 462 West Broadway (between Prince and Houston) New York, NY 10012 before it ends on July 21st, 2013!

Stanley Kubrick Retrospective at LA County Museum of Art

 LACMA Kubrick Exhibit Title

While I was in Califorina over the Christmas holdays I was fortunate to be able to check out the Stanley Kubrick Career Retrospective at LACMA – which was just amazing! I absolutley loved the exhibit and took a bunch of pictures, some of which I’ll share with you in this post.

As the museum’s website concisely describes the exhibit: “Stanley Kubrick was known for exerting complete artistic control over his projects; in doing so, he reconceived the genres in which he worked. The exhibition covers the breadth of Kubrick’s practice, beginning with his early photographs for Look magazine, taken in the 1940s, and continuing with his groundbreaking directorial achievements of the 1950s through the 1990s. His films are represented through a selection of annotated scripts, production photography, lenses and cameras, set models, costumes and props.

Kubrick Posters Wall
A Selection of Posters and Lobby Cards from Kubrick’s Films

In addition, the exhibition explores Napoleon and The Aryan Papers, two projects that Kubrick never completed, as well as the technological advances developed and utilized by Kubrick and his team. By featuring this legendary film auteur and his oeuvre as the focus of his first retrospective in the context of an art museum, the exhibition reevaluates how we define the artist in the 21st century, and simultaneously expands upon LACMA’s commitment to exploring the intersection of art and film.”

Below is a selection of my photos from the show, representative of an overview of the exhibit. Enjoy!

Kubrick Strangelove Model
Miniature Boardroom Set from Dr. Strangelove

Kubrick 2001 Seating
Seating from 2001: A Space Odyssey. Production Stills at Rear of Gallery.

Kubrick 2001 Cutlery Props
Custom Designed Futuristic Cutlery used in 2001.

Kubrick 2001 Space Ship Model
Spaceship Model from 2001

Kubrick 2001 Model Set
2001 Miniature Model Set

Kubrick Barry Lyndon Costumes

Kubrick’s epic period drama, Barry Lyndon, is represented mostly by its lavish costumes. Barry Lyndon is a fantastic film if you have three hours to devote to a viewing.

Kubrick Spartacus Costume
Costume from Spartacus

Kubrick Clockwork Milkbar Props

Signage and Props from the Korovoa Milk Bar scene in A Clockwork Orange — My favorite movie of all time!

Kubrick Clockwork Orange Droog Costume

Droog Costume worn by Malcom McDowell as Alex, A Clockwork Orange. Notice the skewed shadow of the baton against the wall.

 Kubrick Clockwork Orange Turntable

Alex’s Turntable.  Trivia: the British band Heaven 17 took their name from the pre-orgy record store scene in this film.

Kubrick Shining Production Stills

The Shining Production Stills. Note the emphatic use of the color red, which Kubrick employed in each of his films to heighten the emotional impact of certain scenes.

Kubrick Shining Hedge Maze Miniature

The Shining Hedge Maze Model

Kubrick Shining Room Wall with Axes

The Shining’s Grady Sisters with Axes buried in the gallery wall.

Kubrick EWS Masks

Masks from Eyes Wide Shut

Kubrick AI Set Rendering

AI Set Rendering

Kubrick Hellacopter Model from Full Metal Jacket
Helicopter Model from Full Metal Jacket

Stanley Kubrick Runs Through June 30, 2013 in the Art of the Americas Building, Level 2 at LACMA, 5905 Wilshire Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90036. Admission to the Exhibit, which includes Admission to all Galleries, is $20.00. Tickets can be purchased online at This Link.